I was finally able to get back to working on taking out the broken tire planter today, and was able to get it finished!
I am so happy to get that done!
This is where I left off, last time.
Unfortunately, the kittens have been using it as a litter box. In fact, starting to work on it seemed to be an invitation for them to come help – and use the dirt as a litter box!
Two-Face has a thing for the wheel barrow. She just loves to roll around in it!
A moment of distraction, before Potato Beetle (on the ground) and Susan (on the tire) went into the tire planter and started digging in the dirt!
My first task was to continue breaking up the soil, pulling up roots, and moving wheel barrow loads of soil to the retaining all area.
I found a lot of roots.
Including some pretty thick ones!
These are all roots from the invasive vines that I was able to get. There was more that I couldn’t get, because they were going under some tree roots, or under the tire planter.
Eventually, I got it to the point where I could loosen it from the ground more, from the outside. Which lifted it enough that I could start loosening it from the inside.
There was a whole lot of lift, inch over, lift, inch over, lift… Each time it was lifted, dirt would fall under it, making it easier to get the spade under the edge to lift it from another area.
I found more roots in the process.
Finally, I could move it away from the willow tree!!
The next challenge was to lift the thing.
Out of curiosity, I just looked it up: the average weight for a tractor tire like this is between 130-140 pounds (59-63kg). I don’t think this specific tire weighed that much. But then, I was off by 80-90 pounds when I estimated the weight of that concrete statue, so I am probably not the best person to make those sorts of estimates. LOL
All I really needed to do was stand it up its edge.
At that point, I could rock it back and forth to get the remaining soil out of it. I tried scooping it with a little garden spade at first, but then it fell over, even though I had it propped up against my garden fork, knocking half the soil. I figured, what the heck, and flipped it back the other way. It didn’t know all the soil out, but it was a lot easier to use the little garden spade to get the rest out.
Then it was time to lift it again, then roll it out of the yard to the junk pile.
Rolling something as misshapen as this was a bit awkward! 😀
Then it was time to clean up the remaining space.
I used a garden fork to loosen the soil in and around where the tire was, taking out even more roots.
I also moved on to the bricked area.
Some of the bricks in the back were starting to fall over on their own.
There turned out to be a whole layer of bricks below ground level that I almost missed.
I haven’t decided what to do with these bricks, yet, so for now, they are staying in the wheel barrow.
Then I went back to loosening the soil and pulling up roots. Including the roots of what seems to be a long-dead tree that was growing in the middle of the bricked area. There’s a bit of a stump in there. There was one large root that I left, but I was able to cut some others free and pull them out.
And pull some more!
One of them continued about 8 feet into the grass!
Cutting the stump of the elm that had self seeded outside of the tire was actually the hardest part.
Once it was all cleared of roots as much as I could, I raked it all as smooth as I could get it for now.
I had feline assistance. Creamsicle kept chasing the rake as I was using it!
When it was all done, he claimed the area as his own. 🙂
Here are the before and after pictures of the area.
Oh, and here is how it looks by the retaining wall, now…
There was enough soil to reach from end to end! Also, the chives we transplanted seem to be liking their new space. 🙂
I have been thinking of where to put the Mary statue, and I think I have figure out the place of it – near the limestone cross outside our living room window!
May as well stick with the theme! 😀
That still leaves the pedestal, though.
I will have to think about that. Maybe I could use is near the bird feeder somehow?
As for where the tire planter was, I might scatter some wildflower seeds, or maybe pick up some moss ground cover, next spring.
I also have to figure out what to do with that shrine. My older brother built it for my mother – it even has lights inside – but it had not been maintained. The base and the pallet it is resting on are rotting, as are other areas, and it’s losing its wooden shingles. I’d like to fix it up again, and maybe set it somewhere it can be plugged in. Or perhaps set up solar powered lights instead. I might move it away from where it is now, completely. It used to have a place on the concrete landing next to the main entry. It’s a shame it was moved away from there. It would have been much more protected from the elements.
One of these days, I’ll talk to my brother who built it, and maybe we can fix it up together.
But not this year.
One more clean up project, crossed off the list! Yay!